About Christmas TV History

Monday, July 14, 2014

Christmas TV Party 2014: Randall Buie

Christmas TV Party 2014: Randall Buie, Henderson, Nevada

1) What is the first Christmas special you remember watching?
Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol -- It was my first introduction to the Dickens' story.  I have never understood why the opening credits state "Freely adapted from . . "  since there is so much that is verbatim from the Dickens' story.

2) Name one Christmas program/movie you enjoy watching all year round.
Jack Benny "Jack Goes Christmas Shopping".  This program was performed on radio for more than a decade with few updates and was still fresh and funny with each broadcast.

Henry Winkler in An American Christmas Carol, 1979.

3) Name one overlooked, or under-appreciated Christmas program.
An American Christmas Carol  Filmed during Henry Winkler's height of fame, this showed his range.  An interesting take on the Dickens' classic.  Well acted and well staged.

4) Send us to 3 places on the internet.
The Official Stu's Show Web Site   a weekly internet talk show, nicknamed "TV on the radio for Baby Boomers"
Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol   official site from the author of the book that tells all about the first prime time animated special
Christmas Comic Covers Cavalcade 2013    A site that shows various Christmas related comic book covers from the the 40s to the 90s

Unsure of himself, Sheldon tries to select from gift baskets for Penny on The Big Bang Theory.

5) What are your 3 favorite Christmas episodes of a TV sitcom or drama?
Jack Benny "Jack Goes Christmas Shopping"
MASH "Death Takes a Holiday" -- The surgeons keep a corpse alive until December 26 and Charles distributes candy anomalously.
Big Bang Theory "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis" Sheldon is given a napkin that has been autographed by Leonard Nimoy.


  1. enjoyed your choices randall! A Christmas Carol is such a timeless classic that works in many different ways and can be adapted easily, yet it still remains such a strong story even in its original form. i have not seen An American Christmas Carol in so long. i wonder if any channel still shows it?

    1. I think I've seen the American Christmas Carol on TV here in Canada in recent years. It's DVD is still widely available too I think.

    2. Yes, I don't think I have seen any US stations show it in decades but it is available on DVD. I would recommend the version that came out in 2010 (blue sleeve with Winkler in profile) over the late nineties issue (green sleeve with Winkler looking up) as the 2010 version has a much clearer picture.

  2. I really like An American Christmas Carol too--yet I haven't seen it on TV in quite a while. I know it came out on Blu-ray just a couple years back. I'm glad it's still around for people to watch and talk about.

  3. Randall, I'm with you on both Magoo and the Benny episode. Not just a great Christmas episode, but a great Benny show period!

  4. Still need to see the Winkler version. And I love how Sheldon tries so hard to thank Penny for the napkin gift in the BBT episode!

  5. Randall, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol is one of my most beloved holiday TV treasures (and obviously a lot of our Christmas TV party pals agree)! How fantastic you include The Big Bang Theory--a modern classic to be sure.